What is the best training method for fat loss?


This is a 3 part series around the latest studies that have been done regarding what the best training method is for fat loss. Weight training or Cardio? High intensity vs low intensity? Should training differ between males and females?  I will also share with you how I have used this research and applied it to my sessions which have seen even greater results than what they found in these studies. I simply applied this research along with my knowledge and experience with training clients for the past 10 years to put together a structured platform which works.


Weight training vs Cardio

Resistance training definitely has its benefits is regards to fat loss. But it depends on the individual. It comes down to how much calorie deficit they can create in that session. Depending on a lot of individual factors, results will vary from each person.

Lets take 2 women of the same weight. Woman A is 55kg and has never lifted weights before and has minimal muscle mass. Woman B is also 55kg and has been doing resistance training for the past 6 years and has a considerable amount of muscle mass.

Woman A could burn anywhere between 200-600cals per hour workout. She wouldn’t be able to activate large amounts of tissue so therefore has lower energy expenditure. Woman B however could burn around 400-900 calories in an hour session. One reason is because of the intensity and volume of the weights she can lift and the second reason is that she is recruiting a lot more muscle tissue and therefore the energy expenditure will be much greater.

The greater the muscle mass the larger the energy expenditure to help with creating an energy deficit.

Cardio has greater energy expenditure than resistance training because you are moving your whole body weight. This is a great method of training for an individual who has low muscle mass. Because of the higher expenditure however the preserving of muscle mass is much harder to do.

So what is the science saying?  Both done together obviously will create the best results. Resistance training is going to preserve the muscle you lose when you are in energy deficit. Muscle increases energy expenditure which will have a better metabolic effect when doing aerobic exercise.

I have designed specific circuits where my clients that are centered around moving their whole body weight and are using resistance in all sorts from dumbbells to bands to swiss balls and cables etc. I create exercises that a specific to their individual movement demands in every day life. Whether they are a house mum, golfer or athlete,  I aim to challenge them in the movement planes they are required to perform in. These exercises preserve muscle mass, prevent injury,  will make them move better and corrects their imbalances. I then follow that circuit with some aerobic exercise which we will get into later as to which one has been found to produce the best results.

Combining strength training with aerobic exercise in the one session is ideal for what I do when I see clients for an hour at a time. Another great alternative for an individual is to have 3 sessions per week of strength training and 2 cardio sessions on the alternate days. It is a method that is preserving muscle mass when they are on a calorie restricted diet and the cardio is to target those fat cells independently.

Try this workout which is designed around the latest fat loss research principles. Pick 5-7 exercises targeting all the movement patterns such as a squat, lunge, push, pull,  bend and twist.  Do each exercise for 45 seconds with a 20 sec break in between exercises. Complete 3 rounds. Follow that with cardio for at least 20 mins. There is your hour workout which has worked all energy systems,  it has preserved muscle mass and has also targeted the fat cells.


In the next post I”ll discuss which cardio is best and what the science says.




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